Category Archives: In the news

New report on the potential of pets to help address social isolation and loneliness in people

Social isolation and loneliness are increasing in our society. A survey1 by the Co-Op and the British Red Cross revealed over 9 million people in the UK of all ages are either always or often lonely. Research by Holt-Lunstad, Smith & Layton2 showed that the effect of loneliness and isolation on mortality is comparable to the impact of well-known risk factors such as obesity and has a similar influence as cigarette smoking.

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EMODE Pet Score – a new way to prevent animal suffering and owner regret

Clifford Warwick PGDip(MedSci) CBiol CSci EurProBiol FRSB
Biologist & Medical Scientist

Think about it: raising a human baby comes with all the support of experienced grandparents, friends, and a highly skilled health service – complete with qualified and regulated advice on everything from getting pregnant to seeing one’s offspring into the wider world. On top of that, nurturing a child is innate – nature’s education perfectly tailored. Does that mean everything will be easy and go well? Certainly not! But when things go wrong, the best of back-ups are on tap to help, whatever the problem.

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Creating Compassionate Workplaces – A Guide for Employers

The Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) are delighted to announce a new downloadable publication: Creating Compassionate Workplaces, Pet Beareavement – A Guide for Employers. Research demonstrates that the loss of a pet can have as much impact as the loss of a close human relative. This important resource for employers has been produced as an aide to providing compassion and understanding towards employees experiencing the loss, or anticipated loss, of a companion animal.

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SCAS Funding Scheme to Support Research into the Human-Animal Bond Now Open for Application

SCAS are delighted to announce a three-year funding scheme to support research which furthers our understanding of the human-animal bond. The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviours that are essential to the health and wellbeing of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment.

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Pet-human bond innovation competition

Purina PetCare has teamed up with a social entrepreneurship pioneer to launch a competition promoting the pet-human bond.

The Purina BetterwithPets Prize aims to identify enterprises and individuals across the globe that harness the power of the bond through providing innovative solutions to issues such as emotional disconnection, trauma, social isolation and health problems.

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Lambs in Nursing Homes

There have been several recent news items featuring small lambs visiting nursing homes in Scotland and this was brought to the attention of SCAS. There is now irrefutable scientific evidence that human-animal interactions can be beneficial which has led to the introduction of many Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) programmes in health care facilities.  However, great care is required in planning AAI to help ensure that this does not put animals or people at risk.

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Bob and Darcie: An update

The story of Bob Harvey and his little dog Darcie must be one of the saddest.  After his wife of over 50 years developed dementia Bob, his wife Margaret and their beloved dog Darcie moved into a pet friendly care home in the South of Scotland. They were promised a home where they could all stay together for the rest of their days.  Bob reluctantly sold their home, closing the door to their previous life, in order that they could fund the care home costs – comforted by the prospect that they would at least all be together.  Although it was Margaret’s condition that had necessitated the move, Bob was not a well man either. When he had suffered an aortic aneurysm 20 years ago, he was not expected to survive.  He was given up for dead twice on the operating table. He miraculously pulled through, but without kidney function. Since his near death event, Bob has been a dialysis patient, undergoing treatment three times weekly.

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Director of Research: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The ASPCA is seeking a Director of Research to join their Strategy & Research team – a thoughtful and mission driven team working on often novel or groundbreaking research. This role represents an exciting opportunity for a skilled researcher who approaches his or her work with a sense of optimism, demonstrates passion for animal welfare, and thrives in the less controlled environment of applied and field research to apply his/her skills in support of our mission.

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